I’d like to believe that I am a lot more humble and selfless than I actually am. I’d like to believe that I think of others more than I think about myself. As kind and gentle as I am towards people, and as comfortable as I make others feel who come into my home or church for the first time; truth is, I am not as humble as I’d like to be. And I didn’t realize this until I recently took stock of the attitude of my heart.
Paul says in Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Everyone should not only look out for his own interests, but also for the interests of others (HCSB).”
HOW DO WE VIEW OTHERS OUTSIDE OF OURSELVES?
This not only begs the question, do we treat others better than ourselves? But it’s really asking, do we look, view or consider ALL people as more important than ourselves? This is a completely different question, because we could do right before others, but in our hearts, we view them as unworthy of our treatment.
It’s time we take stalk of our attitude of heart.
As I was embarking on a new ministry opportunity, this scripture resonated with me, because the requirement of the position was to minister to sex workers- which by the way, was one thing. But it was a whole other thing to provide visitations to their homes, massage parlours and strip clubs. This was wayyyy beyond my comfort zone! Immediately, I became scared and rejected the entire idea.
But then God convicted me.
As ministers of the gospel, must we be in a comfortably cozy environment to share The Good News? Is there an extent to whom we minister? And is there a limit to the extension of our helping hand?
When I think about Christ, I am reminded that He is the Son of the Most High God. Clothed in His deity, Christ being equal to God, emptied Himself to assume the position of a slave (Phil 2: 6-7). And He took on the likeness of man to walk the earth with some of the most rejected people of society; prostitutes, the sick and the dying.
Yet we, who have earned no position of authority nor honour, restrict ourselves to what is most convenient and most comfortable!
Why is this the case? What is it about me or what is it about my upbringing that has caused me to think this way? What experiences am I lacking that would help me understand the experiences of others more?
I had to ask myself these big questions. Who am I to judge others?
I am reminded of Jonah who did not want God to show compassion to a people who he thought were undeserving. He had one mission. And he could not complete that mission with a humble and compassionate heart. As a matter of fact, God questions Jonah and asks, “Do you have a good reason to be angry? (4:4)” I want to re-frame this question by asking;
“Do we have a good reason to judge others?”
I pray that our attitudes become like that of Christ’s- who was willing to give up everything; His status, His comfort and His honour for a greater cause that you and I may become beneficiaries of the Gospel. May we position our hearts to a low place, a place of humility that we may truly demonstrate this glorious Good News!